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waste

UK Restaurant is Letting People Pay-as-They-Can While Rescuing Tons of Food

in Local Business 336 views

A restaurant in England has been able to employ 22 full and part-time staff serving food rescued from landfills to people on a “pay-as-you-can” basis.

This fantastic achievement is rooted in two significant challenges faced by the UK: price inflation has increased the average cost of food by a quarter, and as many as 10 million Brits, Scots, and N. Irish are malnourished.

The Long Table’s remarkable business model is rooted in conscience and ethics as much as anything they put on the menu. The Guardian reports that 6.4 million tons of food goes to waste in the country every year, amounting to quite a hefty bill of carbon emissions from rotting food and transportation to move it around.

But perhaps the reason this special Gloucestershire restaurant has been able to stay open despite allowing people to eat for free if they want is that the plan was never to focus on the negative.

“We hold a space where we are all collectively trying to answer a question: what if everyone in our community had access to great food and people to eat it with?” says Will North, The Long Table’s general manager.

Lunch is served five days a week from noon, while the store is open every morning for coffee and cake. Dinner is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Everyone eats the same meal based on what the managers are rescuing from their suppliers, but that doesn’t mean the menu is stale.

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Nuclear Waste from Unused Weapons Is Being Safely Turned to Glass After Leaking for Years

in Enviroment 86 views

A public-private partnership will soon see one of the world’s largest nuclear waste treatment facilities begin operations, as liquid and solid waste is turned into large bricks of non-radioactive glass.

The Hanford nuclear cleanup site in Washington state, commissioned by the Department of Energy and built by Bechtel National, takes nuclear waste and mixes it with traditional glass-forming materials at high temperatures to make solid glass that can be safely stored underground.

Some people are concerned about the environmental and human health risks of nuclear power plants, but a much greater risk yet less discussed risk over the years has come from all the plutonium produced for nuclear warheads during the Cold War.

The runaway nuclear arms race during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s produced 56 million gallons of radioactive plutonium and other materials in both solid and liquid forms from now-decommissioned warheads, a veritable hot potato that the Department of Energy has been trying to deal with for decades.

When heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit at the Hanford site, radioactive waste mixes with the glass material in a molten state before being poured into stainless steel canisters where it cools to become stable and storable.

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Analysis Shows We’ve Been Overestimating the Amount of Plastic in Oceans by 30x

in Enviroment 293 views

Scientists in the Netherlands have shown quite convincingly that the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans is far smaller than anyone believed.

Their research highlights a variety of good news tidbits: the first one being that abstract scientific modeling can be more than just wrong, but completely wrong, and the second is that organizations pulling trash out of the oceans and rivers today aren’t simply mowing a golf course with nail clippers: they’re making a significant difference to these ecosystems.

According to the Netherlands Times reporting on the study, estimates for how much plastic has made it into the oceans over the last 20 years range from 50 million tons to 300 million tons, but the actual amount is likely somewhere around 3.2 million tons.

20,000 measurements described as “reliable” informed the calculations of oceanologist Mikeal Kaandorp and his team, with highlights being that rivers bring much less plastic into the oceans than previously thought, and that microplastics are a significantly smaller percentage of plastic waste.

The NL Times says that large models on the amount of plastic entering the oceans are based on how much plastic has been made, how much has been recycled, how much has been buried or incinerated, and how much is missing.

Based on these figures, environmental organizations reckon that 10 million tons end up in the oceans every year, most of which come via river systems. However, Kaandorp stresses that the unaccounted-for plastic has never been accounted for, and it’s wrong to simply assume that every piece ends up in the ocean.

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Paris Olympics Gets 11,000 Stadium Seats Made of Recycled City Plastic

in Enviroment/Sports 290 views

Spectators of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will be watching the aquatic events from seats made of plastic collected in recycling bins from around the area.

In fact, 80% of the 100 metric tons of plastic needed to make the seats came from a single neighborhood—which is also where it’s being processed into new material by a firm called Le Pavé.

“It’s collected in Seine-Saint-Denis, shredded in Seine-Saint-Denis, processed in Seine-Saint-Denis, all for a swimming pool that’s still in the area,” Augustin Jaclin, co-founder of Lemon Tri, the company which collects the recycling, told Euro News. 

Numerous tests have been carried out on the chairs, which include UV resistance, fire resistance, and toxicity, but also mechanical resistance tests to see how well they remain anchored to the floor under persistent attempts to rip them off of it—perhaps by a drunken angry spectator.

Marius Hamelot, co-founder of Le Pavé, said that in the lead-up to the Olympics, manufacturers have been encountering problems getting a hold of new plastics, so they switched to using waste streams. One rich vein in particular was soda bottle tops, of which 5 million were shredded by various companies looking to produce infrastructure like seating for the games.

“It’s a huge communication tool,” says Augustin. “When we tell children to come and put your bottles in the bins, tomorrow they’ll be in the seats of the Olympic swimming pool, it raises awareness [of waste recycling].”

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Watertown brush pickup expected to resume Thursday

in Enviroment 210 views

WATERTOWN — The city public works department announced Monday that collection of brush and green waste from houses is temporarily suspended. DPW Assistant Superintendent Pete E. Monaco said it should only last a couple of days.

“I hope to be back on schedule on Thursday,” Mr. Monaco said.

Mr. Monaco said both of the recycling trucks the city uses had issues at the same time.

The hope is that one truck will be repaired before Thursday so a crew can start picking up brush again, Mr. Monaco said.

“All we need is one, then we’re ready to go,” he said.

Mr. Monaco said they will eventually get caught up, but Thursday’s route will be done on Thursday and Friday’s route will also be done on Friday.

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